A defibrillator is a device that sends an electric shock to the heart to try to restore its normal rhythm. People who have experienced sudden cardiac arrest, have a “shockable” heart rhythm and are treated with CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) have a survival rate of 31%, compared with the survival rate of around 10% for people treated with CPR alone. Unfortunately, only 2% of people who experience a sudden cardiac arrest are treated with an AED.

There are five types of defibrillators:

  • Advanced Life Support (ALS) Defibrillators, used in hospitals and ambulances
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs), implanted directly into the patient’s chest
  • Wearable Defibrillators
  • Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
  • Subcutaneous ICD

AEDs are portable units designed to be used by laypersons and life-support trained personnel. They are widely available on airplanes and in airports, shopping malls, health clubs, sports venues, schools and other public areas. They guide users through the application of the electrodes and automatically analyze the patient’s heart rhythm and either tells the user when to deliver a shock or delivers a shock automatically.

No one should be afraid to use an AED to save a life. You cannot hurt someone who has experienced a sudden cardiac arrest with an AED—they are already clinically dead, and the use of an AED can only help. AEDs are designed to only administer shocks when needed. The vast majority of states protect those who use AEDs from liability, as long as they are using them responsibly to help someone.

To request an AED from In A Heartbeat, please contact us.

To give an AED, please contact us.

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